As from today that is what the pilots will hear, as they approach by air, from all corners of the world, the previously named Funchal Airport.
It is official, as Cristiano Ronaldo Airport was unveiled, with all the pomp and circumstance, by the Portuguese President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.
The renaming of the island’s airstrip was also attended by the Portuguese Prime Minister, Antonio Costa and top dignitaries, among them the head of Madeira’s Regional Government, Miguel Albuquerque, who took the decision to honour of one of the island’s most famous sons, by changing the name of Madeira International Airport .
The Portuguese Head of State complemented the bold decision, as an demonstrative act of autonomy from the Regional Government .
Cristiano Ronald himself, when he spoke about the illustrious event, said that against the usual tradition of only paying homage to celebrities when they have passed away, he stated that he preferred to be privileged and to be there in person.
“I am not a hypocrite, because I truly appreciate this tribute because I can share this pride with everybody”, said Cristiano Ronaldo, as he went on to thank the Head of Regional Government of Madeira to bestow him such tribute.
The resolution to amend the airport designation took the Portuguese public by surprise and there were several humorous and jokingly comments in the media saying that, after a square, an hotel and a statue with the talented footballer’s name, that locals should not be shocked if the name of the island could change to ”Ronaldo’s Isle”.